Published on: 2 February 2018

Welcome to this week’s blog, which is my 147th edition. Looking back I must have mentioned the words Safe, Personal and Effective in some way in almost every one. These three words are deeply embedded in the Trust. They can be seen throughout our hospitals, on the walls of the buildings, on the documents and information we distribute and on the equipment we use. It is our brand, it represents the Trust and reflects our vision and values. But what does it mean? I thought I’d use this blog to give you some examples of how we put Safe Personal and Effective into everyday practice at ELHT.

Being Safe in theatres is absoluKevin McGee.jpgtely necessary and one of the reasons why we have launched a new, unique patient safety initiative called 10,000 feet. The initiative has been developed from a concept borrowed from the aviation world, where the need for focused attention is essential. It means that during take-off and landing - before the aircraft passes 10,000 feet on ascent and after it has passed 10,000 feet on the approach - pilots must focus entirely on “their essential operational activities” and “avoid non-essential conversations”. This very simple communication tool is now being used by ELHT to improve patient safety in surgery. If any member of the theatre team feels the need to regain focus during surgery, they can call the phrase “10,000 feet”. This signals the need for a quiet environment, directing absolute concentration to the task in hand. It’s a ground-breaking patient safety project, which ELHT will be the first Trust in the UK to launch.

Providing Personal care is the corner stone to our Trust. It is delivered every day by our staff, without hesitation. There are so many different ways we do this and they are acknowledged through the many compliments received from thankful patients and relatives and our fantastic Family and Friends results. Each month I have the honour and privilege to present the Employee of the Month award. This is a fabulous scheme of recognising our staff who go beyond the call of duty and exemplify our core values. This month’s winner is a shining example of personal care in action. Health Care Assistant, Lauren Beaghan works on Ward C9 on the Blackburn site and was nominated via a letter from a patient’s family. The letter commending Lauren on the compassionate and tentative care she delivered to one of our patients during his final hours. We only have one chance of getting care right at the end of life and thanks to great people like Lauren, we are able to provide this very special personal level of care.

Each year we strive to vaccinate a higher percentage of staff against flu than the previous year. This year we set ourselves an ambitious target of 90%. Through a very Effective vaccination programme we have been able to protect 89% of our staff. That’s a staggering 6,000 plus people. It is incredibly important that we do everything we can to protect our staff and help them to stay well during the flu season. As the biggest employer in East Lancashire, vaccinating our staff is a significant contribution to the health and well-being of our community and plays an important part in reducing the risk of harming those who would be severely affected by the flu.

I hope you now have a sense of how important the words Safe, Personal and Effective are to us all. That they are not words we use in an attempt to persuade and motive but are the foundation stones on which we build our working days. We all demonstrate these sentiments in everything we do for our patients, their loved ones and for our colleagues. It is what defines us as a Trust.

Until next time, have a lovely weekend.

Best wishes, Kevin